President Hurley Receives St. Thomas More Award

June 6, 2019

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BUFFALO, NY – Canisius College President John J. Hurley is the 2019 recipient of the St. Thomas More Award, presented by the St. Thomas More Guild of Western New York. The organization is comprised of Catholic lawyers and is officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.  It supports lawyers in applying their faith to the challenges of their professional and personal lives.  The St. Thomas More Award annually recognizes the outstanding contributions of a Catholic lawyer.

Canisius President John J. Hurley poses with his daughter, Caroline ’11, MS ’17 (left) and wife, Maureen, after receiving the St. Thomas More Award.
Canisius President John J. Hurley poses with his daughter, Caroline ’11, MS ’17 (left) and wife, Maureen, after receiving the St. Thomas More Award.

John J. Hurley assumed his position as the 24th president of Canisius College on July 1, 2010.  He is the first lay president in Canisius College’s nearly 150-year history.  In this role, President Hurley oversaw the successful development of a new strategic plan, Canisius 150: Excellence, Leadership, Jesuit, a plan that is aimed at building upon Canisius’ commitment to academic excellence, Jesuit values of social justice, and innovation as the college approaches its 150th anniversary in 2020. He has engaged Canisius in a bold comprehensive strategic assessment of academic programs and administrative functions aimed at strengthening the college’s financial position, and placed a special emphasis on the college’s connection to the city of Buffalo, in particular, to the college’s Hamlin Park neighborhood in north central Buffalo.

President Hurley serves on numerous educational committees and is involved with several community organizations.  Most recently, he was instrumental in forming The Movement to Restore Trust with a group of nine Catholic lay people.  The organization of independent, concerned and committed Catholics in the Diocese of Buffalo was formed to assert the laity’s rightful role in the Church, and to help lead a movement to restore trust and confidence in the Church, in the wake of the shocking disclosures about the Diocese’s handling of sex abuse cases involving clergy in Buffalo.

In consultation with national experts, including Leadership Roundtable, The Movement to Restore Trust put forth a plan for reform in the Church.  Leaders, including President Hurley, met with Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Buffalo, and an agreement was reached to expand the diocese’s finance council to include more lay women; to sponsor listening sessions with abuse survivors; and to expand reporting of sex abuse cases.  

A native of Buffalo, NY, President Hurley is a graduate of Canisius College (BA 1978 summa cum laude, English/history) and the University of Notre Dame Law School (JD 1981). Prior to coming to Canisius, he practiced law for 16 years, concentrating his practice in the areas of secured lending, bankruptcy and insolvency.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.